WEDNESDAY, 1:54pm: According to Rapoport (via Twitter), Pierre-Paul can earn up to about $8.7MM on his one-year contract, which is the prorated portion of his franchise tag. However, the guarantee is lower than that, and the deal includes plenty of incentives.
TUESDAY, 6:46pm: The Giants officially announced the signing of JPP.
6:22pm: The Giants will ask for a two-week roster exemption for Pierre-Paul, who” could be on the field in some form or fashion tomorrow,” Rapoport tweets.
6:10pm: The Giants will sign Jason Pierre-Paul tonight, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). JPP is officially back with big blue, though it remains to be seen when he’ll make his debut. It’ll be a one-year deal (link) and the two parties are working on finalizing the language.
There are currently conflicting reports on when JPP will make his return to the field. The most recent word came from Ralph Vacchiano of the Daily News who heard from a source that Week 12 against Washington is the most likely possibility. There was some thought that JPP could be ready for the Patriots on November 15th, but that source says that a post-bye week return is more realistic.
The Giants waited a long time to get a look at JPP’s hand and when they finally got a chance to examine it early in the season, they were not comfortable with giving him the green light. The defensive end finally circled back to Big Blue in the last week, however, and they are ostensibly satisfied with what they saw. Pierre-Paul is not only down a digit, but he reportedly also suffered a broken middle finger and also lost a piece of his thumb.
Pierre-Paul had a strong 2014 campaign with 12.5 sacks and three forced fumbles and was the league’s seventh-best 4-3 defensive end according to Pro Football Focus’ grades (subscription required). At the end of the season, JPP found himself entangled in a contract dispute with the Giants. The Giants slapped the defensive end with a one-year, $14.813MM franchise tender to keep him, but Pierre-Paul was fighting for a lucrative long-term deal. Big Blue reportedly came to the table with a ~$60MM offer, but Pierre-Paul turned it down.
In July, of course, things took a bizarre and unfortunate turn when JPP injured his hand in a fireworks accident. For a while there, Pierre-Paul was rather distant from the organization and even from his teammates. Despite the frosty summer between the two parties, the Giants are undoubtedly ecstatic to have their star defensive lineman back in the fold. Outside of JPP, the Giants don’t have any players who have recorded more than 7.0 sacks in a season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.